Texas IAF: Allow Gun 'Raise the Age' Bill to Be Heard on House Floor

Less than a day after a bill that would raise the age to legally purchase semi-automatic rifles unexpectedly passed through Committee, Texas IAF leaders learned that Representative Guillen (from Rio Grande City) appeared to be actively suppressing House Bill 2744 from being heard on the floor.  Delayed submission of the Committee report resulted in the bill missing a crucial deadline for it to put on the Calendars schedule for Thursday -- the last day to hear new bills. 

Leaders from across the state held an emergency press conference calling on Guillen and the Texas House Speaker to allow the bill to be heard, and for Calendars.    

“Guillen and Burrows should...let the representatives vote their conscience on the House floor. Overwhelmingly, Texans support increasing the age limit of when people can buy assault weapons,” Rev. Minerva Camarena-Skeith from Central Texas Interfaith asserted. 

“We’re very, very angry at what’s going on, with them holding this bill hostage,” Valley Interfaith leader Rosalie Tristan of Raymondville told the Rio Grande Guardian

"How many more children have to die before we act?" demanded TMO leader Bishop John Ogletree. 

[Photo Credit: Blaine Young, Texas Tribune]

'Raise-the-Age' Gun Bill Misses Crucial Deadline, Texas Tribune [pdf]

Valley Interfaith: Guillen is 'Actively Suppressing' Assault Rifle Age Bill from Reaching House FloorRio Grande Guardian [pdf]

Raise the Age Gun Bill in Peril as Texas House Deadline LoomsKXAN [pdf]

Lubbock and Valley Legislators Block Assault Rifle Age Limit Bill, HB 2744, from Reaching the Floor of Texas HouseTexas IAF [pdf]


CTI Tells House Speaker 'It's Now YOUR Corporate Welfare Bill,' as HB 5 Passes


Austin Interfaith, a longtime opponent of the program, shared its dismay with a message directed to House Speaker Dade Phelan and the representatives who voted in favor of the bill.

"You managed to bring back the failed and defunct Chapter 313 program and actually make it worse: worse for taxpayers, workers, schools, and the environment," stated Edie Clark, a leader with the organization. "It is now your corporate welfare bill as it heads to the Senate, which is now the only hope to protect Texas taxpayers. The Texas House of Representatives has officially become a fully functioning subsidiary of 'Texas Incorporated.'"

The organization commended local Reps. Gina Hinojosa, Carrie Isaac, Vikki Goodwin, Erin Zwiener, Ellen Troxclair and Lulu Flores for voting against the bill. "We need to protect our children and our schools," Flores said during a March rally in opposition to the bill. "We also need to make sure that we protect everyday working Texans. I'm here to fight for the rights of everyday people I'm proud to lend my hand and do any heavy lifting I need to do to make sure that working people are protected and supported."

[Photo Credit: Austin Business Journal]

Texas House OKs Revised Corporate Tax Breaks to Replace Chapter 313Austin Business Journal [pdf]


Texas HBCU Legislative Caucus Launches with Support of CTI, Huston-Tillotson University

State lawmakers and Huston Tillotson students announced their intent to form Texas' first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus to help provide the state's HBCUs with "necessary resources and support to thrive."  This effort is an outgrowth of a three-year partnership between Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) and Central Texas Interfaith (CTI), involving leadership education and preparation of students studying political science.  Fannie Akingbala, a leader from Ebenezer Baptist Church, co-chaired the press conference.      


HBCU students helped organize the caucus, which hopes to assemble state lawmakers from both the Senate and House who represent, attended or support HBCUs and obtain funding for them "commensurate with the role they have played in developing the prosperity" of Texas...

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